Hello, my name is Samui.
Yes, exactly like the island. That is where I was born. I am now on the other side of the world, living in Hamburg in the north of Germany where it is bitterly cold. I’m going to tell you the story of how I made it from Samui to Hamburg.
I was approximately one year old and living at the beach of Choengmon. I was very skinny but my fur was as shiny as my snow-white teeth - I have always been a very attractive guy! In November 2002, new guests arrived at the ‘White House’ which, by the way, is a fantastic hotel. Normally I didn’t bother with guests but there wasn’t much going on at my beach. I was lucky, otherwise, I would not have noticed Lilian and Jens. These two stood out immediately since they obviously liked us dogs but, to my dismay, they also like the cats.
We sat down right next to their lounge chairs and they petted us all the time but they didn’t give me enough attention so I made myself noticeable by crawling underneath their lounge chairs into the shade; I tell you, that requires flexible joints for a large dog. However, it was worth the trouble because Jens drew Lilian’s attention to me: “Look at this cute dog. If we have a dog one day, he should be like him,” they both agreed immediately.
Of course, I wanted to make a lasting impression on them and I showed myself at my best (well almost). In the evening, the two were at the beach and Lilian threw away a coral she had collected and I interpreted this as a game. I fetched the coral, laid it down by their feet and chewed on it with pleasure. Lilian worried about my teeth and took the coral away from me. I thought that was mean since I wanted to play and I challenged Lilian to play in no uncertain terms. She understood and rollicked about with me at the beach. Unfortunately, at that time, I did not yet know how sensitive human skin was compared to a dog’s fur and I was a little too impetuous. I was afraid our friendship had come to an end but, the next day, her hand did not look that bad anymore and we somehow bonded closer through this incident.
Then the day arrived which always arrives. I noticed it immediately - the two were quite different. Jens took pictures of me all the time and Lilian almost killed me with her constant cuddling.
“We can’t take him with us, or can we?” Jens asked.
“We can.” Lilian answered beaming with delight.
I know Lilian would have never dared to ask Jens the same question. I sensed a tiny little chance and I made it really hard for them to say goodbye. When they left our favorite restaurant and said goodbye, I barked at them: “Think about it, you will never find such a great dog!” Both of them were impressed by my low bass voice and, to attach even more importance to my barking, I accompanied them to their hotel. I had never done that before but I wanted to show them that I wanted to come with them. They could not possibly leave without me! We were friends!
The next morning was their departure day. The two drove to visit Brigitte from DRCS to seek her expert advice. Jens worried, wondering if it was animal abuse to take me from freedom on the dream island of Koh Samui to Germany, which was 35ºC colder at that time of the year. Also, Lilian was worried about me being locked in a cage and flown all over the place for days.
Brigitte comforted both of them and declared that Samui was certainly not a dream place for dogs, but rather a nightmare. She explained how a dog could be taken from Samui to Germany, as long as the appropriate formalities were taken care of in Thailand and Germany, and offered her assistance. Back in Germany Lilian and Jens examined their everyday life closely to make sure that they had enough time and space for me.
Of course, I did not know anything about all of this going on and I was still a little sad. A week later a few helpers from DRCS came, put a collar on me, and took me to the vet. There I was vaccinated, de-wormed and became the proud owner of a vaccination card. I have to admit, I was really very scared. Some time later I found myself in a box. Anxiously I looked through the bars, but I was not able to see a lot. I heard a loud noise but, somehow, I was strangely tired. Then there was a lot of rumbling and I was picked up with my box. Some time later a very nice woman opened my cage and freed me. That was Mrs Tordis and I spent five days with her. She cuddled me a lot, spoiled me, and took me again to a veterinarian. Then she told me that I would go to Hamburg.
On the fifth day I had to go into the box again but there was a snug blanket in it. Being strangely tired again, I fell asleep. Again, there was a loud noise and it was very cold but, after some more rumbling, I was eventually freed, having spent some 15 hours in my box. However, I had to go into the box again and everything started all over again, but this time it did not take that long until the rumbling stopped again. I did not care about anything. I did not know what was happening. Hamburg, what is Hamburg? What did Mrs Tordis mean? Her voice was so cheerful when she said that, but I was not in a happy mood.
Then I heard something wonderful: “Samui, hello Samui.” Oh, I knew that voice, I knew that voice very well. I wagged my tail as much as I could. My tail hit all the walls of the cage, but I did not care. Lilian put her fingers through the bars and I joyfully licked her. It was them, hurray! Jens freed me from the box, and I could not stop jumping up at him. I was so happy!
He put me on the leash and, with my mistress and master, I very proudly left the cargo hall at Hamburg Airport. The next lamppost was mine. Phew. I lifted my leg and hit a new record: 7 minutes. No lies. My master timed me. It was strange how the cold sand changed colour (I now know this was snow). Then my master lifted me up into the car and how familiar the smell was: a snug blanket which smelled partially of my new pack and partially of the shells and corals from Choengmon.
We arrived at my new home. At first I was allowed to sniff out my yard. I relieved myself again and then I wanted to get out of the cold so I went into my house. Again, I was allowed to sniff out everything and I immediately found my water and food bowl. I was not hungry, but thirsty. My water bowl is a great thing, there is always fresh water in it. At Choengmon Beach I was always drinking out of the fishpond at the White House but I had to get there first. I started to notice how exhausted I was and looked for place to sleep. Lo and behold, I found the best place to sleep: a cozy dog bed that even smelled familiar, and it was only for me. My mistress and master were very happy that I had found my bed that fast.
After sleeping peacefully for a few hours, I needed to go to the loo. I sat down at the place where we had entered the house - the two of them call that the door - and I whined. Full of joy, my mistress came and walked me. That was super. I realized immediately: when I need to go to the loo, I sit in front of the door and howl a little, and then I can go outside sniffing. I cannot say who was more enthusiastic about that: me or the two of them. Did they actually think I would soil my new home?
In the first days we did a lot of things. The two of them thought I should get to know everything in my new world as soon as possible: riding in the car, train, bus and elevator, shopping malls with slippery floors and escalators. We even went to the park so that I could see what I could sniff in the forest. I have to admit that I am still afraid of escalators but, on the other hand, I do not mind anymore riding in the car. On the contrary, I look forward to going in it.
After approximately six weeks I started school and since then have been going to the dog school twice a week. That is really fantastic! I learn a lot and fast and it is great when the two of them show how proud they are of me and stroke me even more. After the school lesson I am allowed to romp around and play with all the other dogs. The more I learn, the more freedom I get at home - I am allowed to go almost everywhere outside because, if I am a good dog, the people who are not so fond of dogs like me.
I tell you, my dog life is really beautiful; every morning my master jogs with me in the forest, then I have breakfast, and snuggle up in my dog bed and sleep until noon. At noon my master returns from work, walks me, and afterwards takes me to his office. Sometimes he takes me in the morning. At the office I lie down and sleep in an old safe. I discovered this comfortable cave and prefer it to my dog bed. There I am enclosed on five sides and I can still observe everything. In the evening, all three of us go for a walk, or sometimes it’s just my mistress and me.
At the weekends we always go for long walks, most of the time all three of us together. That’s when we take my mistress’s car. I love it - I cannot jump in it fast enough. The car has no roof and I can sniff the whole time. Even when it has a roof, I can still sniff, because a lot of air gets through the roof. I like that but I think the two of them don’t. The car roars nicely and I can always hear Lilian in the distance in her car.
When Lilian and Jens have to leave, I visit my Omimi, Lilian’s Mummy. There, I always get treated really well – she lives right next to a huge park where we go for many walks and I meet a lot of other dogs.
So, that’s the most important news from my new home. I hope you have not yet forgotten about me. I really think of you once in a while. I will keep my paws crossed that you also will find such nice new owners, and I greet you with my lowest “Woof!”
FORTSETZUNG DER GESCHICHTE VON SAMUI: DEZEMBER 2005